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Rififi Review

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The haggard, chain-smoking brains behind a four-man outfit lead them as they set out to rob a classy Parisian jewellers.

★★★★★

Jules Dassin was one of few blacklisted directors to prosper during the McCarthy era. Exiled by Hollywood, he made his best films in Europe. His London-set noir 'Night And The City' has been a treasured matinee-staple for years, but the lesser-seen Rififi is his true masterpiece.

In this heist movie par excellence, Jean Servais is the haggard, chain-smoking brains behind a four-man outfit (including Dassin himself) who set out to rob a classy Parisian jewellers. The famous robbery sequence at the film's centre is without words or music, and it's difficult to call to mind a scene from any era of cinema as fascinatingly tense.

Dassin admirably sustains that tension for the rest of the film, until its brilliant finale.

A masterful piece of genre filmmaking.

Dassin's direction raises this textbook French film noir to crime classic status.

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